a story.

It was freezing cold as I entered.

That was odd, and yet another thing to add to the list of complaints for a hotel I’d been in for only thirty minutes. Twenty-seven of those minutes had been spent at the front desk debating with the reception staff about my reservation. Drenched by a sudden rainstorm, arguing and dripping water in the lobby had put me in a sour mood. I only hoped that my locked hair hadn’t soured as well.

I snapped on a lamp and did a quick once over. Satisfied that the rooms were at least better than the service, I tossed my luggage aside, stripped off my soaking suit, and headed to the bathroom for a long, hot shower. There was no reason to bother with the bonnet and double shower caps I normally wore to condense my two feet of coiled hair to keep it dry. I wanted to rinse away the funky rain and my funkier attitude as much as I could.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I stepped into the shower. I stopped mid-stride. What was that light-colored streak I saw at the edge of my crown? In the midst of my dark brown tresses, it stood out like a flash of lighting in a midnight sky. And it wasn’t alone: across my scalp, light specks littered my curly roots.

No . . . no, no, no! Gray hair wasn’t due for another ten, maybe fifteen years! I took a slow step toward the mirror, moving as slowly as the elderly woman these silvery streaks indicated I was becoming. I leaned closer, glaring at my reflection like this catastrophe was its fault. Then I inspected a strand, and I sighed with agitated relief.

That damn gray cat of mine.


– Going Gray